As President Biden unveils his federal infrastructure and climate agenda, clean energy and its politics continue at the state and local levels. In Indiana, the wind industry is working with state Republicans to reduce barriers to expanding energy deployment, Inside Climate News reports. Wind energy developers and their trade association — along with help from a lobbyist who was vice chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in the state — secured bipartisan passage of a wind energy bill in the state House, but it is unclear if it will be passed by the state Senate.
Meanwhile, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, two local nonprofits are teaming up to stage “solar barn raisings” — a tribute to the region’s Mennonite and Amish heritage — and install solar panels on homes built by Habitat for Humanity, so that residents can save money on their power bills. “To have our own space is very special,” Broadway homeowner Amber Cox told the Energy News Network. “I’m impressed and thankful they’re connecting solar. This is the complete package of blessings.”
Organizers and volunteers see benefits in the project beyond those for individual homeowners as it has allowed them to build community. “For the most part, it’s been tough to make inroads on the belief that solar is for people of means. This is a great opportunity and a niche to fit our mission,” Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, the project manager with Green Hill Solar, told EEN. “If that means a little less profitability, so what,” he said. “We’re interested in our local community, not being millionaires.” (Indiana: Inside Climate News; Virginia: Energy News Network)